I have to start off with a recognition and a disclaimer…
First the disclaimer…there are many people in my life who don’t know the whole story of who I once was. Even the people who knew me then don’t know all of it. In taking on the task of putting my process/journey out there, I realize this can be a bit overwhelming. Sorry if this all shocks you, try to see it from my perspective, it ain’t a bowl of cherries over here! My reason for doing this is, I hope and pray that more (mostly guys) will seek help if they are feeling the things I have felt.
Now the recognition…I would not be doing this if it weren’t for my wife taking a big step and sharing her story. She has inspired me to share mine. Along with the help of a good counselor, and let’s not forget about the guidance of God.
We made it up to my last year or so in High School. The girl I had been with for almost two years broke it off with me, so now I was just running wild, no commitments, no ties. I was pretty much a loner because of that relationship. I had a couple people I would call friends, mostly underclassmen.
During my senior year my teachers pretty much knew my “style” and a couple of them thought it was their job to straighten this long haired stoner kid out, I didn’t do well in either of their classes, ended up having to take summer school to get my diploma.
But there was one, an English teacher, who was more into figuring me out than changing me. And a drafting teacher who also tried to develop my inner abilities. If it wasn’t for them, I would have said, ‘Screw school!’ altogether.
So I made plans to go to drafting school, architecture specifically, but because of my grades, and the fact that I was failing a required class for graduation, those plans hit the skids. This just frustrated me even more and I withdrew into myself even more.
I had other relationships with girls but they were all superficial, nothing too deep, I wasn’t going to get burned again. It had to be on my terms. Yeah, you can imagine how that worked for me.
It’s an interesting thing when you look at the signs of depression in men and how they manifest themselves, it’s not the same as with women (I spent lots of time researching the signs when I recently got to the point of dealing with this stuff).
I got done with my summer class (taught by that drafting teacher) and got my diploma, then headed north. I wasn’t 18 yet, but I had made plans to attend a Junior College near my grandmother’s house. I spent the rest of the summer working for her and her husband. It was a very small mountain hamlet that didn’t afford the energy (or the entertainment) I still craved and desired.
Sure, there was this girl there that grabbed my interest, but she was off limits (more on that as this story unpacks).
I was spending my time drinking alone, getting what the mountain folk called pot when I could, continuing on being a loner, it was what I was comfortable with. Not letting anyone too close.
That place just wasn’t working for me, so I moved back home. That didn’t work so well either and I couldn’t wait to get out as soon after my 18th birthday as I could. I turned 18 on a Wednesday, I was moved out on Friday.
This was going to be it! My life on my terms! Everything done my way!
The delusion and lies that you can keep telling yourself when you are “self-medicating” are ridiculous!